By Rafael Cañas
Madrid, Mar 26 (efe-epa).- One Barcelona resident has been quarantined three times over three months in two different countries because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Li Li, 31, a Chinese citizen living in Spain, has been forced into a series of confinements by the advance of the outbreak around the world.
“I’m not taking it badly,” she told Efe from the apartment she shares with her husband Xavier in Mataró, in the province of Barcelona.
Mandatory confinement in Spain is set to last at least four weeks and Li Li said that for some people it will be “really hard”.
Her main comparison between China and other countries, especially in Europe, has been that the authorities and the population have not taken the threat of the disease spreading seriously enough.
She said when she returned to Europe on February 2 after her first quarantine in China: “100 per cent of the passengers on the plane were wearing a mask, and at the Amsterdam airport (where she had a stopover) no one was wearing one.”
“I was amazed,” she added, because “the situation in China was really bad” but other countries did not seem to have noticed.
Li Li traveled to China in January to celebrate Lunar New Year with her family at her parents’ home in Runan, in the central province of Henan.
When she made the journey the coronavirus was almost completely confined to Wuhan in the Hubei province, around 320 kilometres to the south.
But while she was there the virus began to spread to other areas of the country and the situation became “very severe”.
Chinese authorities announced the quarantine of Wuhan and its surrounding area on January 23.
Two days later, the same date as Chinese New Year, measures were implemented in the provinces surrounding Hubei, although they were not as strict as at the epicentre of the epidemic.
After several days she and her sister drove to Langfang, on the outskirts of Beijing, where they were quarantined for a week.
Li Li was able to bring the date of her return flight forward and left Beijing on February 2, one day before the airline suspended all flights at the capital’s airport.
After a stopover in Amsterdam she landed at Barcelona airport and returned to her home in Mataró.
She said she phoned her local health centre and a doctor advised her she could carry on with her daily life as normal and only needed to see a medic if she had symptoms.
Li Li decided to go into self-quarantine to avoid the risk of infecting others, especially her elderly parents-in-law.
Her husband went into isolation with her and in the end neither of them had any symptoms.
“We had no social life for two weeks, although we went out for a walk alone at night,” she said.